Post List

  • February 13, 2010
  • 04:21 PM

Four-Winged, Psychedelic Dinosaurs

by Andrew Farke in The Open Source Paleontologist

When many of us think of viewing things under a "black light," we either think of those psychedelic posters from the 1960s or else the displays of fluorescent minerals that nearly every science museum has. It's also virtually mandatory to have a scene involving the use of "black light" in the popular CSI television programs - many bodily fluids show up nice and pretty under these conditions. "Black light," more properly known as "ultraviolet (UV) spectrum light", is just outside the visible ligh........ Read more »

David W. E. Hone1, Helmut Tischlinger, Xing Xu, & Fucheng Zhang. (2010) The extent of the preserved feathers on the four-winged dinosaur Microraptor gui under ultraviolet light. PLoS ONE, 5(2). info:/10.1371/journal.pone.0009223

  • February 13, 2010
  • 04:10 PM

Weekly Dose of Cute: American Pika

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

You may not have heard of the American Pika. Pika are small little rodent relatives most closely related to rabbits, though they look chinchilla-esque. They're native to colder climates all over the world, including Asia, Europe and North America, and they tend to live on rocky mountain slopes where they can hide in small crevices. Because they are adapted to cold mountainsides, the pika are particularly at risk is the global climate warms, as changing temperatures could push them further and f........ Read more »

Price, T., Hurst, G., & Wedell, N. (2010) Polyandry Prevents Extinction. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.050  

  • February 13, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

How to Study Invasive Species, a Conservation and Ecological Imperative

by Johnny in Ecographica

...the invasive could theoretically replace the native with little ill effect to the ecosystem; the invasive could fill the niche left void by the out-competed native plant without disrupting the energetics of the plant community as a whole. BUT, at the same time, a newly arrived invasive species may have a distinct advantage over a native transient because it is completely foreign to the ecosystem. For example, being unrecognized by its new environment the invasive may, for a period of time, ........ Read more »

  • February 13, 2010
  • 12:15 PM

How many Americans are immune to H1N1?

by iayork in Mystery Rays from Outer Space

I’ve been expecting a resurgence of swine-origin influenza virus (SOIV) in North America for a while now, and it hasn’t happened. The virus is still out there, still infecting a few thousand people per week, but there hasn’t been a third large-scale wave of virus transmission. That’s different from the 1918 and 1957 [...]... Read more »

Hancock, K., Veguilla, V., Lu, X., Zhong, W., Butler, E., Sun, H., Liu, F., Dong, L., DeVos, J., Gargiullo, P.... (2009) Cross-Reactive Antibody Responses to the 2009 Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Virus. New England Journal of Medicine, 361(20), 1945-1952. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0906453  

  • February 13, 2010
  • 09:31 AM

Just wow.

by Christie Wilcox in Observations of a Nerd

These little bejeweled cases might look strange, but they're incredible. No, they're not some kind of special modern art. They're incredible because they're made by an insect.

I'm not much of a bug lover, but this is simply one of the coolest things I've ever seen (in a totally-bio-nerdy kind of way). Hubert Duprat, a french artist, had the genius if not a little out there idea to turn caddisfly larvae into artists. In the wild, caddisfly larvae create elaborate protective tubes from materials........ Read more »

Price, T., Hurst, G., & Wedell, N. (2010) Polyandry Prevents Extinction. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.01.050  

  • February 13, 2010
  • 07:00 AM

Psychotropics and Youth, Part 1 – The Five Myths

by Shaheen Lakhan in Brain Blogger

“The dramatic rise in prescriptions [of psychotropics for children and young adults] has alarmed several commentators,” according to Lakhan and Hagger-Johnson. In their article, they trace this problem to five erroneous myths that influence prescribing: 1) Children are little adults. During adolescence, the brain changes rapidly. As a result, therapeutic benefits, potential adverse occurrences, and drug interactions [...]... Read more »

Lakhan, S., & Hagger-Johnson, G. (2007) The impact of prescribed psychotropics on youth. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 3(1), 21. DOI: 10.1186/1745-0179-3-21  

  • February 13, 2010
  • 06:47 AM

Scratch: Reducing Syntactic Complexity

by Simon Wells in Strange Aeons

... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 06:18 PM

Ground Truth

by Journal Watch Online in Journal Watch Online

Over-use of fertilizer has acidified China’s soil

... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 05:41 PM

What is severe autism?

by Michelle Dawson in The Autism Crisis

We have to wait, patiently, for the DSM-V people to cough up their system for ranking and classifying all autistics according autism "severity." In the meantime, some recently reported data are worth mulling over. First, here is the most current DSM-V autism "severity" ranking-system proposal, and here is my response, including information about instruments commonly claimed to measure autism "severity." The DSM-V void in this area can be located here. An increasingly prominent measure of autism ........ Read more »

Roberts TP, Khan SY, Rey M, Monroe JF, Cannon K, Blaskey L, Woldoff S, Qasmieh S, Gandal M, Schmidt GL.... (2010) MEG detection of delayed auditory evoked responses in autism spectrum disorders: towards an imaging biomarker for autism. Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 20063319  

  • February 12, 2010
  • 05:19 PM

Dope, Dope, Dopamine

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

When you smoke pot, you get stoned.Simple. But it's not really, because stoned can involve many different effects, depending upon the user's mental state, the situation, the variety and strength of the marijuana, and so forth. It can be pleasurable, or unpleasant. It can lead to relaxed contentment, or anxiety and panic. And it can feature hallucinations and alterations of thinking, some of which resemble psychotic symptoms.In Central nervous system effects of haloperidol on THC in healthy male ........ Read more »

Liem-Moolenaar, M., Te Beek, E., de Kam, M., Franson, K., Kahn, R., Hijman, R., Touw, D., & van Gerven, J. (2010) Central nervous system effects of haloperidol on THC in healthy male volunteers. Journal of Psychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1177/0269881109358200  

  • February 12, 2010
  • 05:00 PM

The Science of the 2010 Winter Olympics Are Here!!

by Allison in Dormivigilia

The March issue of Experimental Physiology highlights articles relevant to particular sports of the Winter Olympic Games of which I will feature in the upcoming weeks.....let the games begin!!... Read more »

Stuart Egginton and Michael J.White. (2010) 2010 Winter Games Themed Issue. Experimental Physiology, 95(3), 402-403. info:/10.1113/expphysiol.2009.047530

  • February 12, 2010
  • 04:42 PM

Fathers' Rights, Children Wronged

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Reflections on Michael Flood's (2010) article on the challenges posed by the fathers' rights movement in Australia.... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 02:30 PM

Faith-Based Birding 201: Fraudulent Photos and Federal Funding

by GrrlScientist in Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

tags: faith-based birding, mass hysteria, endangered species, extinct species, conservation, politics, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Campephilus principalis, IBWO, ornithology, birds,,peer-reviewed research, peer-reviewed paper

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has posted a reward of $50,000
to be given to anyone who can provide "video, photographic, or
other compelling information and lead a project scientist to a
living wild Ivory-billed Woodpecker."

Mass hysteria is that........ Read more »

Dalton, R. (2010) Still looking for that woodpecker. Nature, 463(7282), 718-719. DOI: 10.1038/463718a  

  • February 12, 2010
  • 02:15 PM

Neoproterozoic signs of life

by Chris Rowan in Highly Allochthonous

Fossils older than the base of the Cambrian - 542 million years ago, are not exactly abundant, so it was interesting to see not one, but two interesting papers in the latest issue of Geology that describe fossils from the Neoproterozoic period, from 1000 to 542 million years ago.

The first paper reports the discovery of 565 Ma trace fossils found at Mistaken Point in Newfoundland. Mistaken Point is the location of a nice section across the Cambrian boundary, and hosts the oldest known fossil........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 02:05 PM

The Lyme disease spirochete has flagella but doesn't use them in the gut of the feeding tick

by Microbe Fan in Spirochetes Unwound

The Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi possesses flagella, which are the thin motility structures owned by many members of the bacteria world.  Flagella propel bacteria towards their destination by spinning (read this post to see how flagella function in Borrelia).  It has been assumed B. burgdorferi spin their flagella whenever they need to move from one location to another.  A recent paper in The Journal of Clinical Investigation has demonstrated otherwise, at least for B. ........ Read more »

Dunham-Ems, S.M., Caimano, M.J., Pal, U., Wolgemuth, C.W., Eggers, C.H., Balic, A., & Radolf, J.D. (2009) Live imaging reveals a biphasic mode of dissemination of Borrelia burgdorferi within ticks. Journal of Clinical Investigation. DOI: 10.1172/JCI39401  

  • February 12, 2010
  • 01:49 PM

For Darwin Day: The Biogeography of Darwin's Gourd

by Jeremy in Voltage Gate

In September of 1835, Charles Darwin was visiting an island of Floreana, one of the smaller islands in the Galapagos archipelago where he came across crawling beds of Sicyos villosus, a fairly typical member of the squashes and cucumbers (Cucurbitaceae). Darwin noted that the cucurbit was "injurious" to the surrounding vegetation, referring to its prolific takeover of the landscape nearby.Darwin sent a sample of S. villosus (pictured above) back to Great Britain along with 209 other plants from ........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 12:27 PM

Jane Guyer “on possibility”: another “How Is Anthropology Going” redux

by Kevin Karpiak in Kevin Karpiak's Blog

Some of you might remember a panel I organized, along with Chris Vasantkumar and Mattais Viktorin, at the 2008 annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association called “How Is Anthropology Going? An Inquiry into Movement, Mode and Method in the Contemporary World” (if not, you can read a bit more about it in an earlier [...]... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 11:58 AM

A lurker in the forest

by PalMD in White Coat Underground

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a fascinating little bugger. Certain strains can interfere with tumor suppressor genes leading to cancer, especially cervical, anal, and some mouth cancers. Other strains cause genital warts. The vaccine offered in the U.S. (Gardasil) protects against the two strains that cause most cancers and against two strains causing warts. The vaccine has the potential to change the way our population is affected by these diseases.

But we are still learning more about thi........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 11:23 AM

Does It Mean A Thing If It ‘Ain’t Got Pink Bling? Gender Differences, Toys And The Psychology Of Color

by Kylie Sturgess in Podblack Blog

Upon discovering the podcast of a young pro-princess and pro-science podcaster, I reflect upon several studies on gender, toys and stereotypes - including a new one on picture books and the depiction of males and females.... Read more »

  • February 12, 2010
  • 10:32 AM

The Risks of Cutting Out the Middle-Doctor

by Rob Mitchum in ScienceLife

If you were very sick and weren’t getting better, you would probably go to a doctor. Same goes for if your child was sick; if the symptoms didn’t go away or were severe, a doctor’s appointment is the logical move. But what if you yourself were a doctor? And you were reasonably confident that you [...]... Read more »

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